Elena Kaplun presenting @ the CWF lunch conference, 31st August 2015
“Effective Leadership is not about YOU – it’s about the person in front of you.”
Leadership, emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship are key building blocks for successful corporate and portfolio careers alike. Like a firework, Elena Kaplun sparked ideas, trends and thoughts on 21st century career skills. She highlighted her vision on how to successfully adapt to the ever changing job market, sharing a toolbox of skills and resources to stay competitive in a world that is exponentially multiplying communication, innovation and information.
With a passion for guiding people to achieving their best performance and taking them to their highest potential, Elena Kaplun founded the International Young Leaders Club ( www.IYLC.ch ) based in Geneva. Working in partnership with multinational companies and professional service organizations, as well as high-profile start-ups, she coaches people towards success in education and employment.
During last Monday’s CWF lunch conference in Geneva, Elena shared some views on 21st century mega trends in business that are shaping new markets and that require new skills from the workforce.
Our response to trends like longevity, smart machines and the new media ecology will determine our ability to be successful in the future. We need to manage our long-term health and our trans-disciplinary adaptability to stay competitive in future employment markets. We have to keep agile in accepting new information and education sources and to stay one step ahead of digital evolution. For us, the workforce, this requires new literacy skills and the capacity to not only use digital tools, but also the know-how to interpret the data generated. Future candidates and entrepreneurs alike will distinguish themselves through their learning agility and their ability to use the new resources available to them.
On the back of the whole social media development, people increasingly need an astute self-branding capacity to strategically manage their image and service offering.
“Ask yourself what sets ‘you’ apart from everybody else? Then build on that to improve your expertise.”
People can assess and take stock of their personal assets, manage their skills and drive their career experience and opportunities just like a start-up company.
To this effect, Elena mentioned the LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman who recently co-authored a book on how to apply the strategies of successful entrepreneurship to one’s own career, entitled “How to Manage the Start-up of You”.
Leaders also need a healthy dose of self-awareness. They need to know themselves, both their strengths and their shortcomings. And they need to understand how best to guide the people they’re leading. High performance is not achieved through individual superstar status but through cooperative deployment of individual skills, assets and abilities.
21st century leaders also need to know the building blocks of their own careers:
- Develop your personal brand
- Think two career steps ahead
- Make ‘learning opportunities’ a top priority
- Leverage networks
- Roll up your sleeves and dive deeply into each ‘tour of duty’
Elena points out the importance of talking to your customers frequently and attentively listening to them. Their feedback and needs are your free market intelligence. As always, timing is crucial. Businesses must offer the right product or service at the right time, to the right people. She highlighted a wide range of technology tools and resources readily available to entrepreneurs, such as Google drive, Skype, Google hangouts, LinkedIn.
Business model templates help define the value proposition, customers, resources and finances. She insists on the importance of understanding the financials – or having the support of an expert who does. “Go for cash-positive business models” she says. Learning to use freelancers is also critical in getting work done, allowing you to focus on your core activities as you grow and become ready to employ your own staff.
At the start of every journey there is a single step. Through Elena’s insights we have received enough tips, tricks and tools to tackle a thousand miles! Thank you Elena!
This article has been written by Silvia Schaub, Communications Manager for CWF and originally published on the Career Women Forum Website. Thank you Silvia for the write up! http://www.cwf.ch/fr/activites/calendrier.php?seldate=20150831